Robert Mugabe had the touch of the FIFA World Cup

Harare – The FIFA World Cup trophy arrived in Zimbabwe on Thursday and and it will go to Malawi on Saturday as part of a 52-nation African tour organised by the world football governing body and one of the tournament’s sponsors Coca Cola drink company.

The trophy began its African safari in Egypt in September and is expected to end in April 2010 closer to the start of the tournament which kicks off in June in South Africa.

The first leg of the tour ends in Cape Town, South Africa, in December — ahead of the draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.

The second leg will see the trophy visit additional countries across the globe from January to April 2010.

Zimbabwean fans will get a chance to get a rare up-close view of the 18-carat gold trophy and will also have the opportunity to have a souvenir photo taken with the trophy, participate in interactive displays and enjoy other entertainment.

For security reasons, only President Mugabe was allowed to handle the trophy, according to the organisers.

The Malawi leg of the trophy will take place in the capital Lilongwe, where sports officials and fans are expected to flock to in large numbers.